Analysis: 2 Weeks Of War Have Revealed Cracks In Putin’s Master Plan For Ukraine

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Two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s “precision strikes” have become much less precise and its ground forces arelaboring to seize territory.

On the eve of the offensive, some US officials predicted Kyiv would fall within 48 to 72 hours of hostilities beginning. Yet the blue-and-yellow flag of Ukraine still hangs from its buildings.

If, as Putin asserted, Ukraine was not a real country, it would surely have collapsed by now. But even with 150,000 Russian troops inside its borders, according to US assessments, they control at most about 10% of Ukraine.

On the ground: Serious defenses and countless checkpoints have popped up around Kyiv. Ukrainian forces — to the surprise of many observers — have been nimble and effective against Russian armor that has struggled to make progress.

READ ALSO:Live Update: Ukraine Likely To Join European Union, French EU Affairs Minister Says

Small, mobile units that know the territory have cut down Russian convoys. The anti-tank weapons acquired mainly from the US and UK have left smoking hulks on roads across the country. Turkish-made attack drones have been deployed to precise effect.

In the few areas occupied by Russian forces — even those that are predominantly Russian-speaking — crowds of hundreds have hurled abuse at bewildered Russian soldiers. They have built mountains of tires to defend their towns and painted over street signs.

Not that the Ukrainians have the upper hand: They can’t defeat a vastly superior Russian force, but the evidence so far suggests that — fortified by weapons and other help flowing across the border from Poland — they may yet deny Putin victory.

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